Then, still operating in near total secrecy they got Congress to pass a law on Christmas Eve, when few member of Congress were at work and almost no one was paying attention - a law that would put vast new power in their hands. It must have been a bit like Obama's health care plan. It changes everything, but few people read the law before voting on it...and almost no one knew what it would mean.
Now - 100 years later - it is not only the law of the land; we have become the Land of the Law. That is, this new law changed the way we keep score in life...in business...in investing. It also changed the face of the country. We are now a nation shaped by paper money....formed by easy credit and activist bankers...built on a dollar of no sure value. It is a system that allows people - especially those in the federal government - to spend money they don't have...on things they don't need and can't afford. More importantly, it makes it possible for them to transfer vast sums of money...and massive new powers...to themselves.
It is that system that has kept the typical working man's wages flat for the last 40 years (easy money and nearly unlimited credit allowed Americans to buy what they needed from overseas manufacturers...and never have to settle up on the bill).
It is that system too that is responsible for electing presidents - such as Barack Obama himself, who without the support of this banking cartel would never have won the election in 2012. Americans go to the polls. They think they decide who runs the country. But the real decision was made long ago. The real decision makers are people whose names few people know. If they decide to dump a president, his chances of re-election plummet. If they decide to stick with him - as they did with Obama - he is a near shoo-in.
Do you remember? Just a few months before last year's election, stocks and houses were sinking and Obama was running behind in the polls. And then, things started going his way. His numbers started to look better. Housing began to stabilize. The stock market headed back up.
The elite bankers - operating through the central bank that they own and control -- announced more 'stimulus.' And now they're committed to a program of QE Forever. As long as it takes. As much as it takes.
What did this mean, really? It meant that the Fed was printing money and giving it to its own cartel members. It didn't go to Mom & Pop businesses. It didn't go to struggling households. It didn't go to Rogue Economists.
No, it went to the big financial interests - the successors to the same fellows on the train 100 years ago. The movers and shakers in the financial world. The elite...the rich...the 1%. And it - more than anything else - determined the outcome of the 2012 election.
The popular press rants and raves about 'the rich'. But they have no real idea what is going on. They think the Fed is trying to 'stimulate' the economy. They're all for it. More money. More stimulus. More power to the activists.
But look what happened. The press reported a 'recovery' in housing. There was no such thing going on - not really. Instead, as revealed in this space, the big money was getting money - at virtually no cost, thanks to the Fed's Zero Interest Rate Policy - and using it to buy houses. Ownership was passing from the little guys to the big guys...from Main Street to Wall Street.
The big, well-financed players were buying up hundreds of thousands of houses... Yes, they were putting a floor under prices. But they were also shifting more wealth from middle America to the top of America.
And then Barack Obama - buoyed by a strong stock market...bottoming out housing prices...and phonied-up employment and inflation numbers - appealed to the little guy for his vote!
The whole show was breathtaking. The election was bought for him by the richest, most elite elements in the nation. And it was paid for with money that cost them nothing.
Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.